Narrating the Marginal

Seminar on Experiential Knowledge and Empowerment in Artistic Research

Friday, 9.12.2016
Asko ja Esko – sali, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi

Artists and makers negotiate and sustain their identities and existences through their practices in spite of the challenges they face. These narratives reveal how the qualities of life and work environments impact their art practices. Just as art-making offers ways to ‘work through’ particular life challenges, narratives offer ways to make sense of difficult circumstances. Narratives of empowerment and care come about through art practices, making and storytelling, offering women ways to cope with their realities and come to terms with the marginalities that they encounter.
Art is a medium that enables the shaping of identities of marginalised women, while it also serves as a tool to process relationships within the communities they live in. Female artists may move from one role to another, be it spouse, mother, researcher, professional, teacher, artist, maker or friend. As a result, they are continuously navigating identities and marginalities as a means to cope within their communities. This seminar will discuss how art and narratives function in social realms and what role stories play in socially sustaining artists and their making practices.


Nithikul Nimkulrat: Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn
Dr. Nithikul Nimkulrat is a textile practitioner and an academic, originally from Bangkok, Thailand.  She has diversified work experience and educational background within the art and design domain. Having situated her work at the intersection of art and design and that of academic and art worlds, Dr. Nimkulrat interweaves creative and research practices.  This interweaving has been fruitfully applicable to art and design education internationally, as demonstrated through her guest lectures in Finland, Estonia, Thailand and Argentina.

Jaana Erkkilä: University of Lapland, Rovaniemi
Dr. Jaana Erkkilä is a professor in Visual Arts in the University of Lapland. She holds an MA from State Academy of Fine Arts (KUVA) and a Doctoral degree in Art Education in Aalto University. Dr. Erkkilä is a practicing artist, and her special interest in Art Education field is what happens outside the institutionalised scenes of the art world. Her teaching experience is over 20 years and covers age groups from under school age to elderly, from art school for children and young people to university students.

Eija Timonen: University of Lapland, Rovaniemi
Dr. Eija Timonen is a professor in Media Studies at the University of Lapland, and a Docent in Art and Design at the Department of Film, TV and Scenography at Aalto University, Helsinki. She has led several national and international research projects, among others The Aristotle in Change screenwriting research project funded by Academy of Finland and the Elomedia National Doctoral School of Audiovisual Media. For the last ten years she has photographed the complex structures of ice, and the outcomes of this activity have been seen in different exhibitions and articles.


9.00: Registration

9.30: Opening presentation by Professor Satu Miettinen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Artistic process in research. How to document? How to analyse?”

10.00: Keynote by Professor Nithikul Nimkulrat, Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn: “Narrating Personal Aesthetic Experience: Artist Empowerment and Experiential Knowledge Dissemination in Artistic Research”

10.30: Keynote by Professor Jaana Erkkilä-Hill, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Understanding the Marginal through Art Practice”

11.00: Keynote by Professor Eija Timonen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Photographing Ice”

11.30: Questions to keynotes

12.00: LUNCH

13.00: Professor Heidi Pietarinen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Design can tell a story. Complex narratives and cultural influences told through textiles.”

13.20: Daria Akimenko, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Narrative-based Art as Means of Dialogue and Empowerment”

13.40: Frank Nieuwenhuizen, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Structuralistic descriptions and poststructuralist critique; a perpetual limbo?”

14.00: Questions and discussion

14.20: Coffee break

14.40: Alexandru Raevschi, Aalto University of Arts, Helsinki: “All wars have already been canceled. Restoring balance inside the Armenian society through artistic practices.”

15.00: Bilge Merve Aktas, Aalto University of Arts, Helsinki: “Craft and Design for Sustainable Futures: Woman Profiles in Felting”

15.20: Dr. Melanie Sarantou, Arts Ceduna, South Australia / University of Lapland, Rovaniemi: “Narratives of care: Women’s laps as intimate and complex spaces for the construction of identities”

15.40: Questions and discussion

16.00: Concluding remarks